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5:10 PM ET, July 30, 2008


 Top Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Keeping Track  —  I note with interest today, John McCain's new tactic of associating Barack Obama with oversexed and/or promiscuous young white women.  (See today's new ad and this from yesterday.)  Presumably, a la Harold Ford 2006, this will be one of those strategies that will be a matter …
Marc Ambinder:
Weaver, McCain's Former Strategist, Calls “Celeb” Ad “Childish”  —  John Weaver, for years one of John McCain's closest friends and confidants, has been in exile since his resignation from McCain's presidential campaign last year.  With the exception of an occasional interview, he has …
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
With Commercial, McCain Gets Much More Than His Money's Worth  —  WASHINGTON — The number of times Senator John McCain's new advertisement attacking Senator Barack Obama for canceling a visit with wounded troops in Germany last week has been shown fully or partly on local, national and cable newscasts: well into the hundreds.
New York Times:
Low-Road Express  —  Well, that certainly didn't take long.  On July 3, news reports said Senator John McCain, worried that he might lose the election before it truly started, opened his doors to disciples of Karl Rove from the 2004 campaign and the Bush White House.  Less than a month later, the results are on full display.
Wall Street Journal:
McCain's Tax Blunder
Discussion: The Caucus, D-Day and
Massie Ritsch /
Watchdogs Compare McCain, Obama on Donor Disclosure
Discussion: Salon and Ben Smith's Blogs
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
New McCain Ad Attacks Obama As A “Celebrity”
Discussion: D-Day and No More Mister Nice Blog
Jonathan Weisman / The Trail:
Obama's Symbolic Importance  —  In his closed door meeting with House Democrats Tuesday night, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama delivered a real zinger, according to a witness, suggesting that he was beginning to believe his own hype.  —  Obama was waxing lyrical about last week's trip …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
President Obama Continues Hectic Victory Tour  —  Barack Obama has long been his party's presumptive nominee.  Now he's becoming its presumptuous nominee.  —  Fresh from his presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection …
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: ROCK BOTTOM FOR GOPERS?  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro  —  *** Rock bottom for Republicans?  OK, Hill Republicans, ask yourselves — is this bottom?  The indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) is a BIG deal.  This appears to be a case of a politician …
Matthew Yglesias:
Ah, Journalism  —  So it seems that Barack Obama said something like:
Discussion: Washington Monthly
The Hill:
50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill 2008 - Top 10  —  Political party: Democrat.  —  Dating status: “Happily single”  —  She's striking - and accident-prone.  —  Three weeks ago, Tulani Elisa, a legislative assistant for Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), fell down while going up the Metro escalator that leads into Dupont Circle.
The Hill:
The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful 2008  —  Welcome to The Hill's fifth …
Discussion: The Swamp
Isabel Wilkinson / The Huffington Post:
A Week In John McCain's Shoes — His $520 Ferragamo Loafers, That Is  —  This summer John McCain is traveling in style.  He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop — from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem …
Christopher Hayes / The Nation:
Let's Play: If I Were a Right Wing Blogger
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Mother Jones:
There's Something About Mary: Unmasking a Gun Lobby Mole  —  NEWS: Mary McFate was a prominent gun control activist.  Mary Lou Sapone was a freelance spy with an NRA connection.  They are the same person.  A Mother Jones investigation.  —  This is the story of two Marys.
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Audio: This is not the Ludacris that Barack Obama thought he knew; Update: Obama spokesman condemns  —  It hasn't gained enough critical media mass yet to warrant the pro forma denunciatory campaign statement, but the week is still young.  Lyrics are available in the YouTube sidebar …
Jerusalem Post:
Olmert says he will resign after Kadima elects new leader  —  Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held a special press conference on Wednesday at 8 p.m. where he announced he will not run in the Kadima primary scheduled to take place in September, adding that he would resign from office upon selection of a successor …
Discussion: Israel Matzav and The New Republic
New York Times:
Olmert to Resign After September Vote
Discussion: Guardian, Hot Air and The Seminal
David Stout / New York Times:
Democrats Call for Contempt Charges Against Rove  —  WASHINGTON — Democrats on both sides of the Capitol assailed the administration's handling of the Justice Department yet again on Wednesday, and a House committee recommended contempt charges against Karl Rove, who was President Bush's top political adviser.
Discussion: TPMMuckraker, Salon and Liberal Values
Andy Barr / The Hill:
House Judiciary Committee holds Rove in contempt
Michael Goldfarb / John McCain Report blog:
Eleven Different Excuses  —  The Obama campaign has offered no less than eleven different excuses for snubbing wounded U.S. troops at Landstuhl.  Perhaps because none was convincing, the Washington Post now offers excuse number twelve: … It does now seem that Barack Obama snubbed the troops …
Ben Smith / The Politico:
McCain campaign backs off ‘cameras’ charge
Gallup Daily: Presidential Race Tightens to 4 Points  —  PRINCETON, NJ — After moving into a nine percentage point lead over John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily tracking of national registered voters this past weekend, Barack Obama now leads by just four points, 46% to 42%.
Carol Marin / Chicago Sun Times:
Women voters aren't warming to ‘cool’ Obama  —  The Obama campaign has a woman problem.  How big?  How small?  It's not clear, but in a close election, small can be big.  —  And Michelle Obama spoke to it Monday in Chicago.  —  Departing from her prepared remarks …
National Enquirer:
EDWARDS' HU$H MONEY TO MISTRESS  —  A NATIONAL ENQUIRER investigation has uncovered John Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter - the mother of his “love child” - has been secretly receiv­ing $15,000 a month as part of an elaborate cover-up orchestrated by the former presidential contender.
The Hill:
Boehner asks Pelosi to fire House CAO Beard  —  House Minority Leader John Boehner on Wednesday called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to fire House Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard, arguing he is too partisan for the office.  —  Much of Boehner's criticism centered on actions Beard has taken …
Discussion: The Crypt's Blogs
Romney “Not Planning” On VP Nod  —  “I think there's some great people he could choose from and I expect he will do that.  But I don't plan on being part of the ticket.”  —  Campaign 2008: Get the latest news, video, and polls!  —  AUDIO: Romney talks about VP rumors on 850 KOA's The Ride Home
Discussion: Balloon Juice and
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 More Items: 
Legislators aim to snuff out penalties for pot use
Discussion: Law Librarian Blog
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
Neil Vigdor / Stamford Advocate:
A ‘big rat’ may greet Lieberman at GOP convention
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Raw Story
Erin Rosa / Colorado Independent:
Colorado ‘fusion center’ to step up intelligence gathering during DNC
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Poll: Most Americans want offshore drilling
Discussion: Commentary, Salon and
John Kass / Chicago Tribune:
Hopium helps you forget several unpleasant facts
Tim Rutten / Los Angeles Times:
The putsch that imperiled America
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Richardson will host Clinton fundraisers
Discussion: and MSNBC
 Earlier Items: 
Tim Wu / New York Times:
OPEC 2.0  —  AMERICANS today spend almost as much on bandwidth …
Discussion: The Glittering Eye
Michael Novak / The Corner:
The Flag in the Lapel  —  Now we know why Obama took the American flag off his lapel.
Agence France Presse:
Saudi religious police ban pet cats and dogs
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Restaurant Chains Close as Diners Reduce Spending
Hernán Rozemberg / Houston Chronicle:
New immigration strategy Deport yourself
Lois Romano / Washington Post:
Surviving The Free Fall
Jack Shafer / Slate:
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Identity Politics Amuck